As the war enters its 605th day, these are the main developments.
Here is the situation on Saturday, October 21, 2023.
- A man was killed and a woman was left in a critical condition after a Russian missile hit homes in Kryvyi Rih in the central Ukrainian region of Dnipropetrovsk.
- Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy visited the south of the country where he said his armed forces had repelled a new Russian offensive against the eastern town of Avdiivka and Ukrainian forces were holding their ground.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin visited the headquarters of Russia’s Southern Military District, located less than 100km (60 miles) from Ukraine’s southeastern border. Putin was briefed on the war by the Chief of the General Staff, Valery Gerasimov, the Kremlin said.
- The Ukrainian military said fighting was raging along the front line, with about 90 combat clashes in the past 24 hours. That compares with an average of about 60 daily clashes a week ago.
- Russian forces have intensified attacks around Avdiivka and Kupiansk. Kyiv said the military aim of the Russian attacks around Avdiivka and Kupiansk was to draw in Ukrainian troops from other front lines and to try to gain ground before winter sets in.
- The Institute for the Study of War, a US-based think tank, said Ukrainian forces appeared to have broken through on the eastern bank of the Dnipro river in Kherson.
- Kyiv has not commented and Russia’s defence ministry said it had thwarted attempts by Ukrainian troops to establish a foothold on the Russian-controlled bank of the Dnipro river.
- Russia named a replacement for the former head of the country’s Aerospace Forces. State media reported that Colonel General Viktor Afzalov, acting head of the air force, had officially replaced General Sergei Surovikin – who came under suspicion following the revolt by Wagner mercenaries against Moscow’s military leaders earlier this year.
- Russia ordered Russian American journalist Alsu Kurmasheva to be detained for three additional days, after prosecutors said she had failed to register as a “foreign agent”. Kurmasheva, who works for the US-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty media outlet, was detained by law enforcement officers in the Russian city of Kazan.
- Kyiv’s iconic Motherland statue representing a female warrior towering over the capital has reopened for public viewing after its Soviet-era hammer and sickle emblem was replaced with the Ukrainian trident.
- Biden and European Union leaders delivered a message of support for both Ukraine and Israel. “These conflicts show democracies must stand together,” European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said of both countries. Biden said: “We stood together to support the brave people of Ukraine in the face of Putin’s aggression. We’re standing together now to support Israel in the wake of Hamas’s appalling terrorist attack.”
- Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov dismissed claims by Ukrainian officials that Moscow has profited from the Israel-Hamas war, which had taken public attention away from Ukraine.
- Russia’s defence ministry released a video showing a UK reconnaissance above the Black Sea being intercepted by Russian jets to prevent it from entering Russian airspace.
- US intelligence reported that Russia is using its spy network, state-run media and social media platforms to undermine public trust in elections around the world.
- The International Criminal Court (ICC) said an “unprecedented” cyberattack it suffered in September was probably “espionage” aimed at undermining its work. The attack comes as Russian investigators have opened criminal cases against the ICC’s prosecutor and judges who issued an arrest warrant for Putin for war crimes earlier this year.